Tag Archives: Antarctica

May 23,1980 Senator worries about climate change impacts…

On this day in 1980, a Liberal (yes, Liberal) senator from South Australia, Don Jessop, talked about the dangers of climate change in the Australian senate.  The whole lot is here.  And below a clip…

Senator JESSOP (South Australia) – “I also welcome the Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Bill 1980 and will make a few brief remarks about it….

“The first article, entitled ‘World ecology is endangered’, is from the Melbourne Age of 16 April, and deals with an examination by a panel of internationally recognised scientists. They told the United States Congress: . . that the world could face an ecological disaster unless the amount of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere is controlled.

The second article is older, having been written on 28 February 1977. It is entitled ‘Heating Up: Global Race for Antarctic’s Riches’, [From  U.S. News & World Report] and I wish to have only highlights of that article incorporated in Hansard.

We knew. Or should have. We blew it.

Jessop?  Came acropper in 87.  Grattan, M. 1987  SA Libs demote Hill, drop Jessop. The Age, 9 June. p 3

Also on this day

2000-

Senator Hill had been ambushed. It appears neither he nor his staff were aware the trigger proposal was likely to face such fierce opposition in Cabinet….  The anti-greenhouse, anti-trigger camp did not stop at this. The following day [23 May 2000] senator Minchin presented research he had commissioned from Dr Brian Fisher of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE), a critic of the Kyoto Protocol, which found that meeting Australia’s Kyoto target could cost between 0.5 per cent and 1.4 per cent of Gross National Product at 2010. The fossil fuel lobby used this research as a springboard to back Anderson’s and Minchin’s position, suggesting the trigger would have significant adverse economic implications. Dick Wells, the executive director of the Minerals Council of Australia, was quoted in the Australian Financial Review as saying, ‘[w]e agree with John Anderson that the trigger would harm employment and regional growth…..

(Macintosh, 2007: 50)

2000 Taylor, L. 2000. Industry adds its weight to oppose greenhouse move. The Australian Financial Review, 25 May, p.7.

Industry started a strong campaign against the Environment Minister, Senator Robert Hill’s, proposed greenhouse trigger yesterday. This follows a fiery Cabinet discussion on Tuesday [23rd] over new greenhouse measures proposed by the Senator.

The Federal Cabinet is understood to have reached a clear understanding on Tuesday that no extra greenhouse requirements should be imposed on the proposed $1billion Kogan Creek power station in Queensland.

It rejected a memo from Senator Hill that the project be forced to invest in greenhouse-abatement projects to offset its own emissions. However, a spokesman for the Environment Minister said the Cabinet had not made a final decision.

Taylor, L. and Skulley, M. 2000. Cabinet clash on greenhouse. The Australian Financial Review, 24 May, p1.

Federal Cabinet faces a showdown over greenhouse environmental issues after ministers yesterday heard alarming predictions that meeting Australia’s emission targets could significantly cut economic growth and boost fuel prices.

The Minister for the Environment, Senator Robert Hill, and the Minister for Industry, Senator Nick Minchin, both entered Cabinet yesterday armed with new evidence about the extent of Australia’s greenhouse problems.

Economic research commissioned by Senator Minchin found that forcing industry to meet Australia’s targets under the Kyoto international greenhouse agreement could reduce gross national product by up to 1.4 per cent in 2010.

(MINCHIN COMMISSIONED BRIAN FISCHER TO DO ANOTHER SKY FALL DOCUMENT)

 

 

2013  Ian Dunlop in Canberra (riff on BHP?)

 

 

 

 

July 7th, 1997 – Australian Foreign Minister explains facts of life on #climate

The Government’s position was explained in a speech given by the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, in the lead up to the Kyoto Conference in 1997, in which he stated:

A significant proportion of the Australian economy is currently geared toward the production of emission intensive products. As a result, the abatement costs in Australia are likely to be larger than in other countries that have lower reliance on emission intensive outputs. 84

After discussing the importance of emission intensive industries in the Australian economy and Australia’s linkages with rapidly developing economies in Asia, the Minister said the “only target that Australia could agree to at Kyoto would be one that allowed reasonable growth in our greenhouse emissions”.

  1. Downer Australia and Climate Change, Address by The HonAlexander Downer, MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the ‘Global Emissions Agreements and Australian Business Seminar’,Melbourne, 7 July 1997 (Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra: 1997).

Macintosh, A. (2008) Domestic Influences on the Howard Government’s Climate Policy: Using the Past as a Guide to the Future. 11 Asia Pac. J. Envtl. L. 51  Page 68-9

May 12th, 2011 IPCC special report on renewable energy

may122011“May 12th, 2011 The IPCC has published the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN). On Monday, the summary for policymakers of the SRREN has been approved by government representatives for IPCC member countries at the 11th Session of Working Group III co-chaired by Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.”

Renewables eh, sooooo loved by conservative politicians and their fossil fuel funders… (see May 6th entry)

Also on the day

2014 The Collapse Of The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Is ‘Unstoppable

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

Jan 23, 1995: Larsen A ice sheet starts cracking up

On January 23rd 1995, the Larsen A ice shelf in Antarctica started cracking.

‘On the twenty-third of January, they called me over the radio and said: ‘Rudi, something’s happening, the ice shelf is breaking.’ An enormous crack had opened from the edge of the shelf on the Weddell Sea up to the mountains,’ said del Valle, who heads the earth sciences department at Argentina’s National Antarctic Institute. Flying six thousand feet overhead in a light plane, del Valle saw that the ice shelf, up to a thousand feet thick in places, was beginning to break up into smaller icebergs. ‘It was spectacular because what once was a platform of ice more than forty miles wide had been broken up into pieces that looked like bits of polystyrene foam … smashed by a child.

Gelbspan, 1998:2

And here’s the “attribution” page…

Gelbspan, R. (1998) The Heat is On The Climate Crisis, the cover-up, the prescription. Updated edition Boston: Basic Books

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/larsenb.php
Rapid Collapse of Northern Larsen Ice Shelf, Antarctica
Science, 9 February 1996: Vol. 271 no. 5250 pp. 788-792
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5250.788

See also:
January 26th. Watch this space.

Other things that happened on this day:
1980 The Carter Doctrine brings peace and stability to the Middle East
2008 Iraq ratifies Kyoto Protocol
2013 Australian coal mining versus the planet . See the Sydney Morning Herald article,based on Greenpeace’s “Point of No Return” report

 

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.